An alloy of copper and tin, bronze is a metal widely used by a number of industries. Because of their strength and corrosion resistance, bronze sheets are utilized in naval ship construction, as well as statues and other architecturally inclined applications.
Despite all these favorable qualities, bronze, like other metals, does face some challenges, too. It’s important to be aware of these so that you can protect those bronze products or items you have incorporated in your machines or structures.
Unprotected areas of raw bronze, when exposed to air for a long time, will oxidize and adopt a flat, dark-brown appearance as a result. Think of the dark, dull, red-brown quality of a copper penny in circulation for many, many years.
Oxidation is also a form of corrosion. While some consider such oxide film as unsightly, it actually serves as a protective coating that keeps the inner layer from attritioning.
Saline soils, airborne spray coming from nearby bodies of saltwater, atmospheric pollutants, and other saline sources can create copper chloride. This dynamic, which occurs when bronze is exposed to chlorine compounds, leads to pitting. Electrochemical methods can help deal with the problem by completely removing the chlorides, but such advanced techniques should only be performed by a professional.
Understanding how these permeations occur and how to deal with them will help you maintain the quality of your bronze materials.